Thursday, June 7, 2012

Southern & Soul Food - Amber and Heather - May 2012

We had our final Gourmet Club for the Summer last week, due to a quick date change, and it was awesome!     
We were told to wear a Southern Belle hat (Kentucky Derby Style) best hat takes the prize!  So we had to get was actually really fun to have us all dressed up in hats for the evening.
Such a fun and diverse group of ladies to enjoy great conversation and delicious food with! Love em all!
Amber and Heather are always fantastic host.  They make a great team.  
The theme for the night was Southern Soul Food.  We were all excited for some good southern cookin' for sure!  They had hung fun different sayings about Southern Women from the chandelier where the appetizers were.
Things like: Southern Women know the three deadly sins... bad hair and nails, bad manners, and cooking bad food!
Or: Southern women know everybody's first name... Honey! Darlin'! and Shugah!
So cute!
Loved the colors they chose.  Amber kills me when she says she opens her craft cupboard and "throws" what she has together!  The appetizer table looked yum and we literally couldn't wait to dig in!
Hush Puppies with Homemade Ketchup
Mandarin Black Bean Salad (Salsa)
Fresh and Delicious.
Mini Lemon Pork Sandwiches
Mint Juleps
These were INCREDIBLE!!!  
We ate out on the deck and it was the perfect evening for it.  Weather was awesome!  It was gorgeous out.  Perfect for a ladies night.  The table was so cute! 
Just simply perfect!
The had made these fun railing swags out of crate paper.  Such a great and inexpensive idea.

The place settings were really clean.  They found these green vases at a craft store and made the fabric flowers that sat on them.  The perfect touch!

The menus were made into darling hand fans.  Honestly, what a fun idea!  Just reading the menu made us start to drool.  It was served in 4 courses as follows.
1) Blushing Apple Juleps (I think we decided Julep means that there is mint present...I think)
Cantaloupe, Blackberry and Chicken Salad
2)..well, it brought some fun.  Like a power outage for the whole city of Kaysville!  No problem, a generator on the back of the truck, a waffle iron and Amber got it done.
Chicken n' Waffles with Homemade Butter Pecan Syrup
SOLD!  The syrup was TDF.
3) Herb Marmalade Glazed Pork Chops with Warm Green Bean and Potato Salad and Sour Cream Biscuits
Ok, the pork was way tender and the flavor combination was great.  The Salad was my favorite!  Perfect flavors and textures. 
4) Chocolate Pecan Derby Pie and Vanilla Wafer Cake with Rich Cream Topping
So, I could have eaten THE ENTIRE Vanilla Wafer Cake.  Hands down awesomeness!  And the Rich Cream Topping was killer!
Leave it to cute Shelly to out do us all and go rent hats from Hale Center Theater.  Lindsay took home the prize by unanimous vote!
Take homes consisted of recipes, 
a tote bag of goodies because, "Southern Belles pamper themselves".  Johannas Honey Hair Conditioner, Citrus Salt Body Scrub and Citrus Facial Refresher.  All homemade!
And a edible goodie too.  Strawberry Shortcake Cookies.
Perfect way to finish off season 4 of Gourmet Club!  We are SO, SO sad to say goodbye to Kim!  Sometimes life is just to crazy and balance means picking and choosing.  She is a doll and we will miss her dearly!

Until September Y'all!

backrow: Heather, Lindsay, Sunny, Judith, Lindsey, ME
front: Amber, Kim, Michelle, Shelly, Kristy

Mint Juleps

6 mint leaves, rinsed
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. cold water
3/4 c. lemon juice
4 c. fresca (or any flavor of lemon-lime soda pop), about 2 cans
2 c. ginger ale
1.  Place sugar, water and lemon juice in large bowl.  Mix until sugar dissolves and add mint leaves.  Let sit for 1 hour.  Fill a large pitcher with ice and pour sugar, lemon juice mixture over ice.  You can discard the mint leaves at this time.  We left them in because we wanted a stronger mint flavor.  Add fresca and ginger ale.  Serve and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of

Blushing Apple Juleps

4 Cups Apple Juice
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Jar Maraschino Cherries
Pour all juices into a 2 quart pitcher and stir well.
Add in 3-4 Tablespoons of juice from jar of cherries and stir again. Chill until ready to serve.
Serve over ice, with a cherry in each glass. Garnish with mint or Lemon Balm (a plant from the mint family), if desired.
Recipe courtesy of

Mini Lemon Pork Sandwiches
3   (11-ounce) packages frozen dinner rolls
2 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1-2   cloves garlic, minced
Lemon Tarragon Mayonnaise, recipe follows
Lemon Tarragon Mayonnaise:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients. Chill.
Thaw rolls according to package directions. Rinse tenderloin and pat dry. Combine oil and next 5 ingredients in a large zip-top freezer bag or shallow dish: add tenderloins and seal or cover, and chill at least 4 hours. Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade.
Place pork on rack of broiler pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake pork at 400 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Let stand 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. Place rolls in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
Cut pork into 1/4-inch thick slices; serve with dinner rolls and Lemon Tarragon Mayonnaise.
Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen

Hush Puppies
1   small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal
6 cup vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1   egg, lightly beaten
Using a large skillet, preheat oil for frying to 350 degrees.  Using a mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir in the onion.  In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and egg.  Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until blended.  Drop the batter one teaspoon at a time into the oil.  Dip the spoon in a glass of water after each hush puppy is dropped in the oil.  Fry until golden brown, turning the hush puppies during the cooking process.
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Homemade Ketchup

1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes in purée
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Purée tomatoes (with purée from can) in a blender until smooth. Cook onion in oil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour (stir more frequently toward end of cooking to prevent scorching).
Purée ketchup in 2 batches in blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Chill, covered, at least 2 hours (for flavors to develop).
Recipe courtesy Epicurious

Grilled Chicken Salad with Raspberry-Tarragon Dressing

4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb.) (or Rotisserie chicken)
Vegetable cooking spray
1 fennel bulb, cut in half
2 heads Bibb lettuce, torn
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 cantaloupe, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup fresh blackberries
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup honey-roasted sliced almonds

Pour 1/2 cup Raspberry-Tarragon Dressing into a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Cover and refrigerate remaining dressing.
 Add chicken to 1/2 cup dressing in bag. Seal and chill 30 minutes to 2 hours. Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Grill chicken and fennel bulb halves, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes on each side or until chicken is done and fennel is tender. Let chicken stand 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, divide lettuce and next 3 ingredients among 4 plates. Thinly slice chicken and fennel; place on salads. Drizzle with remaining dressing; top with berries, cheese, and almonds. Serve immediately.
1 (12-oz.) bottle raspberry vinaigrette
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

Whisk together raspberry vinaigrette, chopped green onions, and chopped fresh tarragon in a bowl.
Note: We used Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Fat Free Raspberry Vinaigrette.
                                                                                                Recipe courtesy of

Warm Green Bean & Potato Salad
1 pound red new potatoes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with 2 inches salted water. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high; add potatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, mashing potatoes slightly, until golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm.
Add bacon to skillet. Cook until bacon is browned, about 3 minutes. Add green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add to potatoes along with lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart
Sour Cream Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 Tbs sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup sour cream

Heat oven to 450F. Grease cookie sheet. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; blend well. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. In small bowl, combine milk and sour scream. Add all at once, stirring until moistened. Drop dough by tablespoonful’s onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 450F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 12 biscuits.
                                                                                                Recipe courtesy of Heathers Family
Fried Chicken Skewers
Oil, for frying
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 chicken breast tenders, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Special equipment: 4-inch wooden skewers
Preheat oil to 350 degrees F in a deep-fryer or large saucepan. 
In a shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs and panko. In another shallow dish, combine the flour and salt. In another shallow dish, add the eggs.
Dredge each chicken tender strip in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Dip in the eggs, letting any excess drip off. Dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Thread each breaded chicken strip onto a skewer. Fry in batches until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the butter and garlic over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat, and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Serve the skewers with the butter sauce.
               Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

Herbed  Marmalade-Glazed  Pork Chops (Ribs or Pork Roast)
6 Thin cut pork chops
2  teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
1 12 ounce jar orange marmalade
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

In a small bowl, whisk together marmalade, vinegar, 2 tsp rosemary, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic and 1/2 tsp pepper. Smother the pork chops and let stand for 30 minutes.  Cover and set aside.

Heat grill to low. Grill for 7 to 10 minutes. Generously brush with remaining glaze, slice and serve garnished with rosemary sprigs, if desired. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe courtesy of

Mandarin  Black  Bean Salad  (served with chips if desired)

2 cups mandarin orange segments, well drained
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup diced jicama
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons seeded, minced jalapeño
2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand until ready to serve, tossing occasionally.

Recipe courtesy of Southern Living

Kentucky  Derby Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipe
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup gourmet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, shelled and chopped in half if desired

NOTE: This recipe makes a large amount of batter, so be sure to use a 10-inch deep dish pie pan. A stoneware pie pan with high sides works well. When shaping and fluting the pie crust, make sure to bring the sides up high enough to hold all the Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make pie crust (recipe below) or buy a store bought pre-baked pie crust, line a 10-inch deep dish pie pan with the dough, and flute the edges as desired.  In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed with whisk attachment, whip butter, sugars, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla and bourbon together until frothy.
Remove bowl from mixer, and fold in chocolate chips and pecans or walnuts. Blend well. Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until set. Serve warm, or cool completely before serving with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
   Recipe courtesy of
Rich Cream Topping      

4 oz. soft cream cheese
8 oz. cool whip
1 white chocolate instant pudding mix
1/2 cup milk
Whip together.
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1 whole egg
¼ cup ice cold water
1 tbsp vinegar

Cut shortening into flour and salt until it is fully mixed.  Beat egg and combine with water and vinegar.  Add flour mixture.  Roll out on floured surface.
Strawberry-Shortcake Cookies
12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
                                                                                                Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

Vanilla Wafer Cake
Butter, for greasing pan
Flour, for dusting pan
6 eggs
2 cups sugar
One 12-ounce box vanilla wafers, crushed
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans, or your favorite nut
1/2 cup milk
Butter, optional
Whipped cream, optional
Berries, optional
Caramel sauce, optional

Cook’s Note: An easy way to crush your vanilla wafers is to place half of the box at a time in a gallon zipper-seal bag and roll over them with a rolling pin or glass, then repeat with the other half.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour a tube or Bundt pan.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs well. Mix the sugar, vanilla wafers, coconut, pecans and milk into the eggs.
Pour the mixture into the tube or Bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a plate. Allow to cool completely.
If desired, heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small sauté pan. Cut a 1-inch slice of cake, butter both sides and toast in the butter. Add a dollop of whipped cream and serve with berries. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Repeat with remaining cake slices.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.
Recipe Courtesy of Christy Jordan via Paula Deen

Savannah  Bee Company  Honey  Hair Conditioner
1/2 cup Savannah Bee Company honey (you may substitute any local or organic honey)
4 tablespoons light olive oil (depending on hair type, use lesser amount for oily hair)

In a small bowl, mix together Savannah Bee Company honey and olive oil until full integrated. Pour mixture through a funnel into a plastic bottle with a squeeze top lid.
When ready to use, gently shake mixture and massage into your hair until evenly covered. Cover your head with a shower cap and allow the conditioner to stay on your hair for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Shampoo and rinse your hair thoroughly.

Citrus Salt  Body Scrub

1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
(can substitute light olive oil or vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

In a medium dry bowl, combine all ingredients making sure to not let any water touch them as it will dissolve the salt. Pour mixture into an airtight container and store in a cool dry place.
To use: Just before showering, swirl ingredients together with your fingertips to mix. Clean body completely and just before exiting shower, apply Citrus Salt Body Scrub to body in a firm circular scrubbing motion with hands or a soft washcloth. Rinse off the mixture and pat body dry with a clean towel.

Citrus Facial  Refresher

2 cups water
1 vitamin C tablet
Peels from 2 lemons
4 (4 oz.) plastic spray bottles

In a small sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add vitamin C tablet and stir until dissolved. In a medium glass bowl, add the lemon peel. Pour the hot water over the lemon peel and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steep overnight on the counter. Pour mixture into four (4 oz.) plastic spray bottles, removing all but one piece of the lemon peel in each bottle.

Recipes courtesy of  Corrie’s Kitchen Spa via

­­­­­­­­­­­­Waffles with  Homemade  Maple Syrup
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 egg whites

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center.  In another bowl beat egg yolks slightly. Stir in milk and oil.  Add egg yolk mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just till moistened (should be lumpy).  In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight up).

Gently fold egg whites into flour and egg yolk mixture, leaving a few fluffs of egg white, Do not over mix. Spoon waffle batter into your waffle iron, making sure not to overfill it.  [we added cheddar cheese to the batter]
                                                                                                                              Recipe courtesy of www.
Homemade Syrup
2 cups white sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon maple flavored extract

In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in maple flavoring. Serve warm.

Butter Pecan Syrup
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup maple syrup (homemade or store bought)
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the syrup, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pecans and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the maple syrup and salt and cook, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, until thickened.

(Top waffles with granola and add butter pecan syrup)
                                                      Recipe courtesy of Paula